First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today announced the extension of the First Data OfferWise solution to all offer publishers and the first wave of First Data's network of more than four million U.S. merchant locations.
Over 500,000 merchant locations are now enabled to leverage the OfferWise solution for customized offers programs and other electronic incentive solutions, with more than 100 publishers using the platform to develop innovative, card-linked services. This same group of First Data merchants generated tens of billions of dollars in transaction volume at the point of sale (POS) both online and in-store in 2011.
Introduced in February, the First Data OfferWise solution is an open platform that dramatically simplifies the offer redemption process and creation of card-linked services for consumers and merchants. The OfferWise solution, in conjunction with the CardSpring API, allows offer publishers or application developers to electronically attach offers such as deals, eCoupons and loyalty programs to one or more of a consumer's payment cards or mobile wallet to enable streamlined and automatic redemption of the offer at the point of sale. The OfferWise solution can link to any type of payment card including all major credit association brands, PIN or signature debit.
"OfferWise is a technology infrastructure solution that is setting the redemption standard in the industry and one of the unique ways that First Data continues to innovate and deliver a truly universal commerce experience," said Mark Herrington, executive vice president of Global Product Management and Innovation, First Data. "We're gaining great momentum with OfferWise as publishers and merchants continue to realize how the platform not only eases offer redemption at the POS, but helps build loyal and profitable customer relationships through insightful data analytics built into the solution."
Hundreds of publishers and developers, such as Boutiika, Cardify, Choicepass, FanPlayr, Giftly, ifeelgoods, Key Ring, Local Bonus, Mirth, ParkMe, Place Points, Roximity, Savored, Scout Mob, Tello and Toodalu are using the platform today to create innovative new types of ecommerce, loyalty, d deal, mobile, or CRM applications to help retailers create high-value, digital relationships with their customers.
"Digital, virtual and mobile gifts are the future of the gift card industry," said Timothy Bentley, founder and CEO of Giftly. "We have seen incredible adoption of our service by consumers who want the convenience of giving a gift online and choosing one or more locations for redemption. Through our work with OfferWise, we can add capabilities to our service that will revolutionize the experience for consumers and close the online to offline loop for merchants."
"An effective loyalty program for local merchants is critical given that 50 percent of their revenue comes from the top 15 percent of their customers. Existing card based loyalty programs are ineffective as they require a lot of work from the customer in order to get rewards and engage with the business," said Sean Rad, CEO of Cardify. "OfferWise has enabled Cardify merchants to offer customers a hassle free and personalized loyalty experience by linking the program to the credit cards consumers already own and redeem in real-time."
The swift and creative adoption of the First Data OfferWise card-linked service by publishers enables merchants to choose the type of marketing and incentive program that meets their needs. Through this revolutionary solution, merchants can access programs from any of these publishers all with one connection into the OfferWise platform. These programs are designed to help merchants drive new customers to their locations and keep those customers coming back. Merchants can take advantage of these solutions with no changes to the point of sale, operations or infrastructure.
"Financial institutions have created one of the most powerful platforms in the world and we are excited to work with First Data to make this platform easily accessible to the creativity of web and mobile app developers," said Eckart Walther, CEO of CardSpring. "We have been delighted by the response of developers and publishers, who are using our platform to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping, bringing the disruption of online commerce applications and marketing solutions to the world of retail."